Upcoming Windows 8.1 tablets with Intel's Bay Trail processors

Alongside the release of Windows 8.1 next week, there will also be a new lineup of tablets powered by Intel's latest Atom chip code-named Bay Trail. These tablets which will be priced between $299 and $350, include the Dell Venue 8 Pro, Toshiba Encore, and the Asus Transformer Book T100. More models are expected to ship in the coming months.

These tablets are mainly aimed at consumers looking to browse the web and consume media, much like the iPad, and offer more than eight hours of battery life with screen sizes starting at 8 inches. Manufacturers will include accessories with these tablets allowing them to be transformed into laptops for various productivity tasks. Since they are full Windows tablets, they will be able to run both legacy Windows desktop applications and modern Windows 8 applications.

These tablets are thinner and lighter than last generation Windows 8 tablets, thanks to the advancements on Intel's processor architecture. You could always consider the Microsoft Surface 2, if you are willing to put up with the lack of legacy desktop app support in the ARM based Windows RT. ARM processor is expected to be comparable on battery life and performance to Bay Trail.

The initial batch of Bay Trail tablets will have processors with up to four cores and 32-bit versions of Windows 8.1. Software issues have prevented the immediate release of 64-bit Windows 8.1 Bay Trail tablets, but they should come early next year.

Toshiba Encore

The Toshiba Encore was the first tablet to be announced with Windows 8.1 and Bay Trail. The tablet has an 8-inch screen, weighs about 17 ounces and is 0.4 inches thick. The screen displays images at a resolution of 1280 by 800 pixels, and the company says the tablet is good for Skype videoconferencing with features that include dual-array microphones.

Toshiba hasn't shared the battery life yet, but Intel claims Bay Trail tablets will offer more than eight hours of run time and weeks of standby.

The Encore has an 8-megapixel back camera and a 2-megapixel front camera. Other features include Micro USB 2.0, Micro HDMI, and MicroSD slots. The tablet also comes with Office Home and Student 2013.

Encore starts at $329.99 with 32GB of storage, though the Windows OS will take up a large chunk of the storage. It will be available in November through Toshiba’s website and retail stores.

Dell Venue 8 Pro

The Dell Venue 8 Pro features an 8 inch display with a resolution of 1280 by 800 pixels, is 0.35 inches thick and weighs about 14 ounces according to the company. 

The tablet starts at $299.99 with 32GB of storage, and includes a 1.2-megapixel front camera and 5-megapixel back camera, and a Micro USB 2.0 and MicroSD slots. 

The Venue 8 Pro  has a unique feature with LTE connectivity in the U.S. and 3G in other countries. Dell expects the tablet to start shipping in November, and will sell optional keyboard, case and stylus accessories for the device.

Asus Transformer Book T100

The Asus Transformer Book T100 features a larger 10.1 inch display compared to the other Bay Trail tablets, and is heavier at a little more than 19 ounces.

Asus claims the tablet offers 11 hours of battery life, which should beat the 8-inch rivals with smaller batteries. 

The T100 will be sold as a tablet, but come with a detachable keyboard for laptop functionality. As a laptop, the T100 weighs just under 2.5 pounds. The T100 is priced at $349 with 32GB of storage, and $399 for 64GB of storage. 

The screen displays images at a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels, and the other features include MicroSD card and Micro USB 2.0 ports. The bundled keyboard has a USB 3.0 port.

If you are interested in the Asus Transformer Book T100, you can purchase it using the following link through Amazon. The tablet will start shipping on October 18.

Hp Omni 10

Last but not least we have the HP Omni, which has a 10.1 inch display and a 1920 by 1200 pixel resolution. This makes the Omni 10 the best screen among Bay Trail tablets so far.

HP is claiming a nine-hour battery life, and the company is offering accessories such as a charging dock and Bluetooth keyboard with the device. It will become available in November, and the company has not announced prices. But with the high-resolution screen, you should expect it to be priced above $400.

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